By happenstance, I ended up standing next to a doctor while he was performing cataract surgery in rural Ethiopia. I made it ten minutes before I turned white, started sweating profusely and had to sit down for an hour until the blood returned to my face and my legs stopped wobbling enough so that I could stand up.
But those ten minutes were incredible. Watching at his side as a master surgeon clamps the eye open, makes an incision, removes a cataract, and then puts a new lens in (there probably is more, but that was all I made it through), all in the course of ten minutes made me realize how important the value that each person adds to her/his profession is.
Each of us has made the choice to do important work. We strive to be the best we can and many of us do it effortlessly, yet we also don’t take the time to appreciate our own skills, and how important our role is in making the sector great.
The surgery I observed was old hat and the surgeon’s movements were as practiced as clockwork; he probably did not realize how amazing his skills really are, after performing this routine operation 60 times that day.
You may not directly see the return on the long hours put into designing an appeal, writing articles for a newsletter, or visiting a donor but everything you do contributes to the overall success of your organization and the community you serve.
At this time of year, as it is all year, it is important to take the time to appreciate what you do and how many people benefit from your work.
Have a wonderful new year, from our staff to yours!
Ted Trevens and the staff at DSA.